Lakers' Frank Vogel: 'It's Not Easy' to Ignore Firing Rumors After LA Misses Playoffs

Adam WellsApril 6, 2022

CLEVELAND, OH - MARCH 21: Head Coach Frank Vogel of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 21, 2022 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by  Lauren Bacho/NBAE via Getty Images)
Lauren Bacho/NBAE via Getty Images

After the Los Angeles Lakers were officially eliminated from contention for the play-in tournament on Tuesday, head coach Frank Vogel admitted he's heard the chatter about his precarious status with the organization. 

Speaking to The Athletic's Bill Oram, Vogel said it's "not easy to shut it out" amid rumors the Lakers are going to fire him at the end of the regular season.

"It’s not fun to have those reports hanging over your head or seeing it everywhere you look, especially so early in the season (and) after what we’ve been able to accomplish here. But to me, that pressure of expectation has been here since the day I signed on," he added.

Rumors about Vogel's job status have been swirling for months, as the Lakers continued to fall further down the standings in the Western Conference. 

Oram and Sam Amick reported in January that Vogel was in serious danger of being fired following a 133-96 loss to the Denver Nuggets. 

Last month, Oram and Amick reported the one thing that might save Vogel's job was a deep playoff run. Prior to Tuesday's game, Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer reported the Lakers are expected to part ways with Vogel at the end of the season.

Instead, the Lakers find themselves playing out the final three games of the regular season before getting a start on the 2022-23 campaign. They have lost seven straight, including a 121-110 loss to the Suns on Tuesday that ended their hopes of reaching the postseason. 

Los Angeles has never seemed to put its full support behind Vogel. He was only given a three-year deal when the team hired him in May 2019. His hiring came after the team missed out on Monty Williams, who was hired by Phoenix, and came in with a low offer for Tyronn Lue. 

Per ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk, the Lakers' offer of three years, $18 million for Lue was "far below the five-year, $35-million deal" he got from the Cleveland Cavaliers in July 2016. 

Youngmisuk also noted the Lakers' decision to dictate the rest of the coaching staff prompted Lue to pull out of talks with the team.

Vogel had immediate success in Los Angeles, leading the team to a championship during his first season. The Lakers lost to the Suns in the first round of the playoffs last year after losing Anthony Davis midway through the series to knee and groin injuries. 

Los Angeles only gave Vogel a one-year extension through the 2022-23 season last offseason.

Poor roster construction, as well as injuries to Davis and LeBron James, completely derailed the Lakers' 2021-22 campaign. Their 48 losses are the franchise's most in a single season since going 26-56 in 2016-17. 

Vogel has a 125-97 record in three seasons with the Lakers.